Americans Regret Not Saving, Investing More

Fifty percent of those participating in a recent personal finance poll said they have significant regrets about how they’ve handled their financial situation.

A news release about the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker said of the 50%, 32% would save and invest more money if they had it to do over again, while 27% would spend more responsibly, and 17% would discuss financial goals/expectation with their partner earlier.

Fifty-six percent of couples feel they have made a financial mistake in their relationship, ranging from spending too much on their wedding to buying a house at the top of the market.

Meanwhile, according to the poll results, more young professionals (43%) say they keep some or all of their debt separate from their spouse or significant other, compared with 20% of the general population and 22% of affluents.

Among couples, the majority of the general population (55%) and affluents (63%) claim that both members carry an equal amount of debt. That number drops to 39% among young professionals, with 31% claiming they have more debt than their partner. Notably, 31% of the general population and 20% of affluent couples indicate they do not know how much debt they carry as a couple, compared to 5% of young professionals.

Some 30% say finances cause the most stress in their relationship with their significant other, followed distantly by intimacy (11%), their children (9%), and their in-laws (4%).

Overall, 91% of Americans surveyed find reasons to avoid money talks with their partner, with couples indicating they are more likely to know their partner’s weight than their salary.

Most couples pay their monthly bills jointly and maintain joint ownership of various household accounts. Two-thirds (66%) of those surveyed share all monthly expenses, while the remaining 34% divide their bills each month, with methods ranging from paying certain bills individually to splitting household expenses based on income ratio.

The American Express Spending & Saving Tracker research was completed online among a random sample of consumers aged 18 or older. The research sample of 2,008 adults surveyed the general U.S. population, as well as two sub-groups – the affluent (household income $100,000 or more) and young professionals (under 30, college educated, household income $50,000 or more).